This information is part of the Colgate University catalog, 2023-24.


Advisory Committee Abdal-Ghaffar, Ahmed, Campbell, Davies, Hirata (Director), Kelly, Lennertz, Prasad, Ries, Stolova, Tober, Witherspoon

This academic minor focuses on the rigorous study of language from the perspectives of several contributing disciplines: the study of a specific language or language group in its contemporary condition or historical development; classical philology; philosophy; psychology and neuroscience; acoustic analysis; computer science. Students pursuing a minor in linguistics will encounter a wide variety of methodologies: careful data collection and classification, rigorous philosophical analysis, sociological surveys, psychological experiments, ethnographic and ethnolinguistic methodologies, and the writing of computer programs to analyze and interpret language data. The themes addressed by the linguistics minor include the sounds of language; word structure and etymology; styles and dialects; syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of language; language acquisition by children and adults; language in society; language and culture, historical development and language families; language and mind; language and the brain; language processing by computer; psychological perspectives on language.

Linguistics minors will give a presentation in the last semester of their senior year showing how their study of linguistics has informed their understanding of the world and the academic disciplines they have studied. The presentation can be based on a paper or papers they will have written in their linguistics-related courses.

Students pursuing the linguistics minor are strongly encouraged to undertake a capstone experience. This might consist of an independent study, a thesis presented at the annual end-of-year event, or both. Consult the department for faculty that may supervise the capstone experience.


The courses listed below are offered by the LING program. As an interdisciplinary program, select courses from other departments/programs may also count toward the LING minor requirements. Use the minor link below to find other courses that count toward these requirements. 

Majors and Minors